Steam mussels in white wine until they open, strain off liquor and keep. Allow mussels to cool and then pick. Strain the liquor through muslin or mutton cloth to remove any grit.
Meanwhile braise the leeks in butter and white wine until completely soft.
Once you have all your ingredients lined up its time to start. It's quick to assemble so be sure everyone is ready with wine in hand. In a medium sized heavy pan start your bacon, you want to get some good color on it as you won't have another chance.
Strain off any excess fat. When you are happy with the color, add your leeks and the mussel cooking liquor. Be careful here, as it can be quite salty, so a splash of water might be needed. Reduce the liquor until it starts to thicken up, by about half. Then throw in the mussels, a healthy tablespoon of butter and finely chopped parsley.
Keep moving the pan around gently so the butter emulsifies into the liquor, check seasoning, finish with a squeeze of lemon and divide equally on top of 4 "croutons"
The idea is the bread will soak up all the juices and be a delightful surprise at the end.
Recipe reprinted with permission of Chef Giles at the newly opened restaurant La Tête.
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